Update II on North Click bar (front lines damage)

Although the North Click bar is our favorite bar so far, we did make an update on the damage on the front lines around the split point in March. Quite quickly North contacted us on this subject. We spoke with North again, a few months later after several of our readers including our self’s asked for an update on the matter. Basically they admit there is some wear out on one of the front lines around the split, but for the time being it will only be monitored.

Damage after 8 months
Wear out after 8 months

Pictures

We started by sending new pictures of the damage after 8 months usage of our bar. Consider us to be average users in an average (sandy beach) circumstance with little to modest UV influence since we mainly used it in the Netherlands. Two of the (enlarged) pictures which we had sent to North are shown.

We realize a broken (safety!) front line may get quite serious, since you will probably be forced to release the kite totally. For a 650 Euro bar this is the last thing you would expect.

North 

North, by person of Philipp Beckert at headquarters in Munich, had a look at the same pictures and talked to us (see also the reaction on this update below). He explained that there is a very small (known) amount of lines with extraordinary wear, but so far no broken line known. Also the shown line with our damage is not very likely to break soon. Compared to the well known wear out over time on the standard Quad bar, Wakestyle Bar and Foil Bar, in general this isn’t much of a difference on the Click bar.

So actual breaking isn’t known to North Kiteboarding, This is the main reason for having a free upgrade kit so far. North did inform its distributors though and is gathering information to monitor the issue to be able to react and right if necessary. They might decide to provide exchanging lines later, depending on the numbers and seriousness of the damage. As far as we know, lines that do break are replaced within warranty (use your +6 month registration bonus!) . Broken kites however may be a total different story.

But if you are in doubt about the chance your line will hold, or if you just don’t feel good hanging on to a damaged line there is one -quite tame- solution; order new front lines yourself for around 130 Euro. Our opinion would be to offer a more customer friendly solution from North by proposing a 50/50 deal on it (so for 65 Euro). It still may lead to such a deal, depending on the judgement of North on the number and amount of damaged lines.

Reaction on this Update II from North, Philipp Beckert:

I talked to our r&d again and so far no line broke and they´re sure that this amount of friction is not gonna break the lines. test bars are still out in Sri Lanka and Dakhla, spots with high uv intensity and aggressive salt crystals, with lines two years and older, where the abrasion actually stopped, once lines reached a certain grade of abrasion.

But we understand the issue raised and in doubt  have your lines checked with an experienced kiter or the shop where you bought.

Philipp Beckert, North Kiteboarding

 

 

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48 thoughts on “Update II on North Click bar (front lines damage)”

  1. I’m also experiencing this same issue with my 2017 North Click bar. Why can’t North do the right thing and just replace the faulty parts for everyone?

    They’re just begging for a class action lawsuit here.

  2. Hi Facundo,
    Yes. It is important you explain you will loose you kite probably if this line breaks. Possible resulting in a damaged kite. Far more troubles than already asking for a new one with the 2018 V and protection in the Iron heart. They did not replace it from ’17 to ’18 without a reason…
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  3. Hi, I have the click bar2017 and have broken the Y conector (I don’t know how) and the red line has a fast wear in only 10 session, do you have any recomendation to do I already write my dealer but no news yet

    Thanks

  4. Hi Dave,

    Yes, had to let my kite go at first, but fortunately was able to catch it again and flag it out by grabbing one line only. No damage to the kite.
    While repairing/replacing the line, I noticed that the tube was clogged with sand (part of it probably got inside when the line broke, but there must have been quite some sand/small stones inside even before, causing the damage to the line).

    I don‘t see any way how to avoid getting any sand into the tube. My lesson learnt is to check the covered part of the safety line quite often and regularly by fully pulling it out of the tube.
    (Wear and tear is part of the game – but 6months seems a rather short time, especially considering the substantial price of the spare parts…)

  5. Hi Florian,
    Thanks for sharing this -quite surprising- experience. Sharing experiences is the only way to knwo these sort of problems. We are very curious if your problem re-occurs? Please updates us, also if it doen’t happen any more. It still is a bit of a mystery what happens near the end of the iron heart.
    Did you have to let the kite go when it happened? Hopefully it did not get damaged.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  6. Just to add my own experience:
    Same thing happened to me, though with the new 2018 Click Bar – substantial wear on the part of the safety line that goes through the Tube, resulting in a snapped safety line while kiting.
    So it seems to me that the new 2018 small protection part does not solve this issue.
    Just speculating here: perhaps it is the rectangular shape of the tube that makes it more likely for sand/tiny stones to get stuck inside and wear out the safety line?
    Had the bar for only about 6months, though rather intensively used – but also well maintained and cleaned.

    PS: Feedback from North was that this was not a known issue… But thanks to my kiteshop I still got the replacement parts anyway.

    Apart from that, still love the bar!

  7. Thanks for the info.
    The instructions say:
    “IN THE CASE OF PRESSING THE PUSH BUTTON ON THE TRIM UNIT ONLY HALFWAY, MORE THAN ONE DEPOWER LEVEL MAY BE RELEASED. IN STRONG WINDS THIS CAN BE AN ADVANTAGE FOR DEPOWERING THE KITE QUICKLY.
    IN ORDER TO AVOID THIS SLIPPING, IT IS IMPORTANT TO PRESS THE PUSHBUTTON WITH ENOUGH POWER.”

    I don’t seem to be able to press the button only “half way”. Not that it bothers me much as it’s pretty easy to consecutively press several times for a full depower.

  8. Hi Spiru,
    We suspect it is only the last part (sharp edge) of the iron heart that will damage the line, so something short will probably help already.
    We haven’t had much feed back on the 2018 model, so we can’t answer if will be the solution, but our guess is that it will be a pretty good solution as other brands have it for years already (like Core).
    http://www.wetestkites.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018click-e1515952345522.jpg for a closer look including a measurement.
    As for the release pressure, I am not sure if you mean it takes too much force to release the safety in your opinion?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  9. Hi Dave,
    I have received my new 2017 model and I want to protect the safety line at the bottom part before it wears out. Besides changing the split with 2018 part, I am going to use wire tubing for the lower part, but I don’t know how long to make it.
    How long is this protection in the 2018 bar?
    Does it need to go all the way through the iron heart? I don’t really see in which part of the iron heart the wearing out takes place.
    Are there people using the 2018 model for long enough to confirm the new split doesn’t wear the lines? Otherwise maybe it’s a good idea to make a custom split using a small low friction ring.
    I read in the instructions that pressing the release button slightly should free the spool and allow full depower without repetitive pressing. Is this the case? I don’t seem to be able to mimic this at home by keeping tension on the lines.

  10. Hi Yuvy,
    Thanks for the pictures. The snapped line looks very much the same as all other lines that broke.
    The problems with the plastic depower cover is not seen before with us…
    Hopefully North will help you out in a proper way.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  11. Hi Yuvy,
    yes, North plays the general wear out card a bit too easy. The line always snaps at the same place; just below the iron heart. (something 5 line users also experience with the older bars). We have the impression that if it snapped once it will happen pretty soon again. Which means things sharpen up. It is a design fault, which has been solved in 2018.
    North will also answer quite often that “you are the only one”. Which means we need to update each other. Things start to add up and we stil have the impression if we proof that this is a general design fault they will solve it for all of us properly (by providing a 2018 protection unit).

    To all riders: Please share your experience as much as possible
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  12. Hi Dave,

    I’m glad there are others experiencing the same issue. My safety line snapped after a transition downloop 🙁
    Dealer responded that safety line should be replaced every year, although my bar is around 14months old and still under warranty.
    I’ve already replaced the PU Tube, as it was causing the bar and stopper to get stuck.

  13. Thank you for posting that comparative photo.
    The protection sleeve and the new V split must have a cost price of less than $1 or 2 or maybe just few cents.
    North has a very good marketing opportunity here if they would send this upgraded parts to every 2017 click bar user and keep everybody happy and buying more North bars in the future. But I am afraid they will not do it.
    I won’t wait. I have bought a cheap 2017 click bar and I’ll buy the new split and make a sleeve protection with cable tubing.

  14. Hi Craig,
    Ouch this doesn’t sound good. Ordering a line is not the most common reaction we get (did you register it for +6 months warranty?!) from North.
    We understand your position and have warned North several times the safety line is crucial and wear out within a couple of months is something to worry about.
    Keep us posted how things are going, we might be able to help as we have had some contacts with North’s headquarter in Germany.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  15. My click bar is less than 12 months old and I had used less than 20 times kiting. While kiting in La Ventana, I suffered serious abrasions on my leg from the coral reef after my line suddenly broke. When we reached out to a North Distributor, his response was “order” a replacement line. Also, I should note that both handles are tearing. I plan to litigate this matter given the serious danger this product can cause. While I doubt there will be any benefits from such a suit, if I can save another person from being injured from this serious defect, I will be satisfied.

  16. Hi Spiru,
    No problem!
    See this link for the protection part on the 2018 (and compared to the 2017):
    http://www.wetestkites.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DSCN1183-e1509893956996.jpg
    The 2018 split can be installed really easy; the 2017 version is connected similar as you would connect your keys to a ring. The 2018 version has a rotating cap and is even easier to apply.
    I wouldn’t know any alternatives for the protection part, although it shouldn’t be to difficult.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  17. Hi Dave,
    Thank you for all the info a out the click bar.
    How does the 2018 line protection for iron heart look like? Was it easy to install.
    About the V split ring, is it easy to install the 2018 version in the 2017 bar if it becomes available as spare part?
    I have the opportunity to buy a 2017 bar, but I would like to avoid any premature wear out. Is there any other line protection that can be made to eliminate risk?

  18. Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for sharing. It is a known issue (at least with us). The problem is that the lower part of the Ironheart is too sharp for an unprotected line.
    The 2018 versions has solved this (similar to brands like Core) by a simple protection. We broke the safetyline 3 times already and have now finally gotten a 2018 protection part, which is not easy to get as it is not a spare part to be ordered (yet). So just putting back a new safety / front line will not solve this issue.
    How open North is about these issues is quite difficult to judge. The fact they changed the 2 parts (below the iron heart and the v-distributor) means they some how were not happy with the 2017 set up…
    We hope for you that North will provide you both a new line and the 2018 set up protections! If they don’t do this, let us know see how we can help you. (we know about a dozen similar breakage, but there is no clear signal how North deals with all of them).
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  19. Hi, I have a clickbar 1 year old, 40-50 sessions. Last week, I was riding in 2 meters waves with strong currents when my safety line has broken inside the depower cover. That was really tricky and dangerous to come back swimming with my kite and board. I’m used to check my material. As it was covered by the depower cable,I haven’t noticed that the safety line was damaged.. I’m waiting to see what kind of action North will take. They already told me that I’m the first person to complain about that in Switzerland …I’m riding North for more than 10 years and I have never broke a line. That’s crazy to buy the best bar they built and have problems like that. I hope that North will take his responsibility. Let’s see

  20. Hi Tobias,
    Thanks for sharing.
    We have the same problem. New North lines seem to be short on stock. It is an assumption, but we get the feeling they don’t want users to inform each other on how common the issue is. The fact they haven’t got the spare lines could mean there is a large demand…
    Sorry to say we haven’t got any solution. Getting lines from a different brand would mean a lot of measurements how long the front lines exactly should be.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  21. Hi,

    Update: My dealer has contacted North. North is saying it is a pity but it was also up to me to take regularly care of the screws right fit in the stopper ball. (Ok – but the black stopper ball even doesn’t appear with only one word/description/picture in the manual). I could use either the 2017 or 2018 lines as a replacement the say. Unfortunately none of the lines is currently available. Earliest delivery of the 2018 line end of this month. Delivery of the 2017 lines – no delivery date available. 2 weeks kite vacation ahead 🙁

  22. I am generally happy with the ClickBar but I also experience issues with the quality of the frontlines. The bar is now approximately 6 months old and the lines are breaking up in a couple of places.

    When examining the design of the line, it seems as if the lines are sewn through with a thin white thread which keeps the fibres in the core of the line together. When the white thread breaks the core fibre eventually comes out. I am not sure why the white thread is breaking but most likely it does not stretch as the rest of the line fibres or it is too tightly sewn.

    Cabrinha or Naish lines seem to be design differently, the lines are made by the same woven fabric all the way through. My Naish bars are 5 years old and do not show this kind of wear and tear as the North bar.

    This leads me to the preliminary conclusion that the North lines unfortunately are of lower quality by design.

    Does anyone have similar experiences with North lines?

  23. Hi Tobias,
    that line is really damaged. I understand now what you mean. I think North needs to explain how this can happen.
    We will try to get in touch and ask on several issues!
    We will also try to get the answer what can happen if you take away the stopper ball.
    In the meantime try to get warranty and let us know if you get it?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  24. Hi Dave,

    the small black stopper ball under the V caused the damage. Please find picture of line after max. 20 sessions.

    Best regards

    Tobias

  25. Hi Tobias,
    I understand that the safety release did make a damaged line? Is it possible to show it with a picture? I am not sure if the bar can touch the kite when not using the ball. We will have a look!
    ps we broke 2 lines again after a replacement of the 2017 front lines; We need to investigate it again, but probably it is again the V-distributor that damaged the line and made the red fron line break, which lead to a breakage of one back line.

    Dave
    We Test Kites

  26. Hi, I am very satisfied with my click bar after around 20 sessions. But in my last session I had to use the saftey release the first time und the small black stopper ball didn’t stop the bar but run up the red safety line, lost that little black plastic cover and stopped finally with the screw at the next line thickening. The screw finally damaged the line and was so heavily connected that I wasn’t able to restart the kite (the small screw driver was on land :-() but had to swim back. Is it possible not to use the stopper ball at all -I would like to prevent the same scenario?

  27. Hi Rafael,
    thanks again.
    I will try to do a small interview with North on the click bar. I am also wondering how the 2018 version will last. I have not seen any body yet with it, so it is quite unclear if the new distributor will be much better.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  28. Hi Dave.
    No issues so far on that spot. Just a little wear off but mostly blur of the Color. I also never had an issue with the loop. And I put a lot of stress on the Bar (83kg, high jumps and megaloops). But I assume if the quick release is not sand free before being assembled then this could somehow happen.

  29. Hi Lars,
    The pop out of the chicken loop you describe is new to us. We never heard it before. But thanks for sharing and explaining. Maybe now other users recognize the issue?!
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  30. I have exact same problem of wear on mine. But I also wonder if anyone has had a problem with chicken-loop pop-outs on the click bar. I have never had this with other bars, but with the Click bar it has released in high-tension situations. I suspect the lock stick being just 1-2 cm longer than on the trust bar, and at that this or the material means it can be pushed in a curve during a max pull in which then allows the chicken loop to pop out. Please offer your comments, as this has gotten me in really bad situations and I am now contacting North.

  31. Hi Rafael,
    Thanks for sharing!
    Did you also protect the lower part of the line (where the line comes out of the iron heart)?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  32. Hi. I did a quick fix with a piece (3-4cm) of a one pump tube which comes with all North Kites as spare part. It fits exactly into the hole of the V-distributor and it protects the red safety line perfectly. This works for me since last year. No wear on the red line since then.

  33. Hi Jamie,
    We were afraid of it. We also broke a line (lower part) but we got a new line. The 2018 version did get an upgrade on these points, if it works will be the question. Lets keep each other informed…
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  34. North doesn’t warranty anything, and are quite quick to ignore these issues. I’ve had both safety lines completely break on both my click bars, at the Y split. On one occasion damaging my kite quite extensively. I have had to go out and purchase new lines for 309 US. This is after 6 months of use.

  35. Hi Stian.
    Thanks for your comment!
    The setup would limit you to about 35 knots. So if you get some stronger winds you might need to get a 7m to.
    As for the Click bar, we get more and more complaints of actually breaking lines. I would wait till it has protection at the V and at the insert in the iron heart. Depending of the amount of use you are going to break the ’17 version between 9-20 months roughly. Too soon to our opinion and we see most other brands have a proper protection at the lower point (insert in iron heart).
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  36. Hi, and thanks for all the awesomeness!

    I’m about 100kg with a twintip board (138×40-something), and have decided to go for North Dice 12m/9m setup. Any thoughts?

    I am also considering buying a click bar, but I’m wondering whether I should wait for next version before a buy. Rather expensive tho.
    Do you think it is worth the wait?

    Regards,
    Stian

  37. Hi Dwayne,

    Could you inform us where you acquired the material to perform this upgrade, the local DIY shop or..?

    @users in general: Does the functionality of the click system itself remains as agile/flexible as in the beginning of does it become a bit more rigid after a while?

    Rgrds,

    David

  38. No, North is still more or less in doubt and waiting for more feed back. What I have seen is that when you break it you get new lines.
    For 2018 they probably changed the v-distributor.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  39. @Dwayne: How did you insert the stainless steel sleeve?
    My bar is 3 sessions old but I already started to see some wear. Want to protect the line in case North will not come out with warranty recall on the v distributor.
    And did you use normal electric wire shrink wrap? Can you melt the lines when you shrink the wrap by the lighter flame?

  40. Dave, you wrote – “This is the main reason for having a free upgrade kit so far.”
    Have North started to give a free upgrade kit to everybody who bought the click bar?
    Just bought mine and was wondering..

  41. Glad I saw your post on Reddit and discovered this site.

    I’ve used my North Click Bar for 3 sessions so far and I rinse it with fresh water after each session. After seeing this post, I got curious…… Good and bad lol.

    Good that I found this potential issue. Bad that the same red line on mine that goes through the black plastic v splitter is indeed showing some noticeably wear. This isn’t good, I’ve only used it for 3 sessions!

  42. I’ve had this exact problem with my click bar lines v distributor.
    On mine the blue 5th line got very worn and the v distributor hole had some quite deep grooves cut into it.
    I modified the v distributor by inserting a stainless steel sleeve into the guide hole for the 5th and safety line.
    I also put some protective shrinkwrap on the blue 5th line in the area were it goes through the hole for extra protection.
    I think this part needs a total redesign!

  43. Hi Rufus,
    Thanks for sharing your information. Could you be more clear on your issue? What do you mean by “underlines” and I think you mean shorter?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  44. Y have a problem with the underlines.One site is scooter then the other.They dont know the problem, was told.So i ordered new ones, no problem,but still waiting ,two months already.Zeph control France told us that they are hard to get/order.I change the bar every year but because of this problem my next bar will be the regular one.No piece for change is horrible

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